Track work is a big lift for Levenmouth rail project: Removing redundant track at Leven

Monday 26 Jul 2021

Track work is a big lift for Levenmouth rail project

Region & Route:
Scotland’s Railway: Scotland

The Levenmouth rail link project has taken another huge step forward with the start of work to remove the old disused track and redundant infrastructure from the former branch line.

Following on from last month’s confirmation that the line will be double tracked and electrified, and announcement of the station locations when Transport Minister Graeme Dey visited Leven, the removal of the old disused tracks is another clear signal that project is gathering momentum.

Work is now underway on the route between Thornton Junction and Leven and will be ongoing until the end of August, though not continuously at any one location.

Removing the redundant and life expired railway equipment is an important step forward for the project and is the most significant work to date.  Removing the disused track and excavating the old ballast will also help create a clear area for when the construction of the new lines will begin early in 2022.

The redundant equipment has been itemised and offered to a range of Heritage railways. It is our intention that all of the assets removed will be recycled and re-used within a railway environment.  Some of it will be repurposed for use on the construction of the new line.

Joe Mulvenna, Network Rail project manager for the Levenmouth Rail link said; “This is the most significant phase of preparatory work so far on the project and we are literally clearing the way for the start of construction early next year.

“While clearing the old track breaks a link with the past, its important that we can re-use and recycle the redundant assets for use on heritage railways and some can be repurposed for the new line.

“We are doing what we can to minimise any disruption from this work and so we can continue to enable people to enjoy using the railway corridor for leisure purposes.  We will have measures in place to manage the work safely but we do ask that everyone exercise caution while we carry out this work.”

The railway corridor will remain open for leisure purposes and we will have appropriate measures in place to segregate the public from what will be a moving work site.

We would ask anyone using the area to exercise increased caution during this work and if requested, please follow advice from those on site to ensure your safety.

Notes to Editors

Notes to editors

Track works

Removal of the track will be undertaken from west to east and will involve a team of 10-12 people using an excavator and trailer. 

The work will be delivered from a compound within the Fife heritage railway site and the line will be accessed for this activity from here and at Double Dykes only.

Before this work starts, we have undertaken all necessary environmental and ecological surveys to identify any protected species or nesting birds in the area. Appropriate methods of working have been put in place. Our aim has been, and will continue to be, to proactively identify safeguarded species, roosts and habitats of value.


Summary of Project: 

The project is currently considering a number of options which include:

  • 19 single track kilometres of new / reinstated railway. (This means a double track railway running the full length).
  • Two new modern accessible stations
  • Provision for efficient electrification of the line in the future
  • Work with partners to optimise travel / interchange options connecting   stations

The project is also continuing to develop options for connection to the Heritage Railway and to support future freight aspirations.

Current Status:   

The project is currently onsite, designing and developing a delivery programme. 

  • Station designs will be complete and planning applications made in Autumn 2021
  • It is anticipated that main construction works will begin early in 2022

Contact information

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